By Angela Potter
Destiny has a heart of gold! Her and I have been friends for over 10 years now. We've both moved many times in between, have gotten married and had kids. With all that's going on, we don't catch up very often, but when we do it never feels like much time has passed. I have always admired her creativity, determination and compassion for others.
Where do you call home?
We live in Santa Cruz, CA but have lived in Portland, Spokane and San Jose.
How many kids do you have?
2 kiddos - Liam will be 4 in December and Coral just turned two at the beginning of September.
What was one of the hardest changes for you physically during your postpartum journey?
After a 32 hour labor, I had ended up having to have a C-section with Liam. I was only 6 CM and had negative effacement- that baby was not coming out on his own! I labored at home for 26 hours, then had to transfer to a hospital.
As such, I had to recover from very intense natural labor, and a C-section. It took me about eight weeks to feel back to normal and the surgery recovery was difficult. I had nerve damage at the incision sight for about a year. I also had mastitis a total of four times - once with Liam and 3 times with Coral! Even with that, I breastfed both the babies for 15 months each. My body has taken a lot of healing to get back to normal.
I had receding gums and needed gum tissue grafting surgery. The surgeon doesn't think it is related to giving birth, but I am convinced that having babies back to back 21 months apart really took a toll on my body and had a direct effect. I now also get dizzy easily which feels odd. All that combined with almost 4 years of lack of sleep, I am overall tired. It's amazing how I'm still able to have so much energy to accomplish what I need to throughout the day, but by 8:30pm I am exhausted most nights.
What was one of the hardest changes for you mentally/emotionally during your postpartum journey?
I was on newborn motherhood bliss for the first year of motherhood. When I got pregnant with my second baby after Liam was only 12 months old and he was entering his toddler years - motherhood became an entirely different journey for me.
I am overall just very tired and experience a lot of anxiety raising my toddlers. I am very patient, but not as patient as I would like to be. I also find that I am more emotional over happy events now as well, I get very sentimental watching my kiddos grow and thrive. It's so funny how many emotions that accompany motherhood. I am exhausted and on edge most of the time - but also experience the highest amount of joy that I could have ever imagined experiencing. It truly is a rollercoaster, even on a daily basis!
What has been your greatest joy in motherhood?
Succeeding at it! I am doing the absolute best that I can to raise loving, compassionate and decent human beings. I get so much joy watching them emulate what we teach them at home and seeing their little personalities develop. I am really proud of the values we instill in our household and I love seeing my children grow every day. It is so rewarding to watch them experience life. They are excited about the smallest adventures - motherhood truly reminds me to value the littlest things in life.
How was your postpartum experience different with each baby?
Very different experiences! I had a C-section with Liam and had a successful VBAC with Coral (whoop! whoop!). The physical recovery with Coral was so easy compared to Liam. I was back on my feet within 2 days, literally. I even snuck out for a pedicure 2 days postpartum. I shocked myself!
However, the mental postpartum experience with Coral was a lot more challenging. I now had a very young toddler to take care of, and a newborn! My toddler wasn't going to hang around the house all day playing quietly while I nursed the baby and took naps.
The following week after giving birth I was right back to park play dates, toddler activities, making snacks, and dinner, all of it. It was such a whirlwind and there is a lot of Coral's first year that is a complete blur. We're thankful for photos :).
I still feel badly to this day - raising Coral through her newborn days was honestly pure survival mode. The hours of breastfeeding and bonding that I did with Liam were just not there. Everything was a lot more rushed and done out of necessity. However, we truly believe that Coral is as independent and resilient as she is because of this! She learned quickly and is a strong, fierce, independent little girl because of it. We wouldn't change it for the world.
What is one resource that felt invaluable to you during the postpartum time?
With my first baby, my mommy friends were truly invaluable! I attended a free mommy-and-me support group offered by the local hospital and it was the highlight of my weeks. I could connect with other new mamas, ask questions of the lactation consultant and get out of the house for a break. It gave me a reason to get dressed and get ready for the day!
I have also been a part of other moms groups both in my community, and online. They have been beyond useful for me as a new mom. I highly recommend all new moms reach out to support groups. We are all winging it here, and its so nice to be able to experience this journey with peers.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give to pregnant moms in preparation for their postpartum journey?
Be prepared to love more than you ever thought was humanly possible!
Be prepared to bend rules and expectations that you had before becoming a parent.
Take it easy on yourself and your family, parenting isn't easy!
Take it one day at a time.
Find some values that you believe in to form a foundation of advice that you wish to follow and use that as a guideline.
Also, feel open to talk about the struggles as well as the joys of parenting!
Follow your gut instinct and fight for your beliefs as needed - this is your body and your child, never feel guilty for having a different opinion than your friends, family members or doctors.
Hello! I name is Destiny Flood. I am 33 years old, and have two kids 21 months apart (now almost 4 and 2). I am also a wife, and a professional working mom. I am a CPA and work 4 days a week. I truly love working and I pride myself on being a thriving mother and professional. We take this journey one day at a time and hope to raise loving, compassionate children. We follow respectful parenting and I love "crunchy organic mom stuff", but often there is a lot of flexibility!
I work at PP&Co in the Silicon Valley! Feel free to contact us for full service accounting needs.